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Waterfowl Hunting 
Digest 2009-2010 

Serving nature and you 

Missouri Department of Conservation 

Introduction to Missouri Waterfowl Hunting 

Missouri waterfowl hunters now have more days and more places to hunt 
than ever Hunters can hunt eight months out of the year beginning with 
teal season in September and ending with the conclusion of the light goose 
Conservation Order in April. 

Extensive wetland restoration has provided more places to hunt. In 
the last 1 5 years, federal and state agencies, conservation organizations, 
and concerned citizens have restored 25,000 acres of public wetlands and 
over 100,000 acres of private wetlands— a small portion of the 87 percent 
of wetlands lost in Missouri. Tbday's hunters now have the opportunity to 
hunt such varied habitats as shallow-flooded wetlands, flooded crop fields, 
flooded timber, dry crop fields, streams, rivers, ponds and reservoirs. 

2009-2010 Waterfowl Hunting Outlook 

Hunters will be provided with a 60-day duck season for the 13th consecu- 
tive year and have ample goose hunting opportunity with a 79-day Canada 
goose season and light goose hunting that begins on Oct. 31 and ends with 
the close of the light goose Conservation Order on April 30. 

Expectations for the 2009-2010 waterfowl season in Missouri will 
undoubtedly be high. Increased numbers of breeding ducks and above 
average production of young have set the stage for a potentially good duck 
season. How much this potential is realized in Missouri depends upon 
weather and local habitat conditions. Missouri's habitat appears favorable 
in most areas. Spring crop planting was delayed in some regions, but yields 
are not expected to be significantly affected. Production of wetland plant 
foods also appears to be average to above average in most regions. 

Hunter success often differs from expectations based on pre-season 
reports. Missouri hunters have had some of their best hunting when early 
expectations were low and poor hunting when expectations were high. 
Timely migrations and favorable weather patterns, combined with season 
dates that bracket both early and late hunting preferences, should provide 
hunters with a variety of opportunities during this waterfowl season. 

Adaptive Harvest Management 

Duck seasons, based on regulatory alternatives developed under the federal 
Adaptive Harvest Management Program, provide for a 60-day season with a 
six-duck daily bag limit in 2009-1 for the 1 3th consecutive year. Each year's 
regulation recommendation is based on the status of the mallard breeding 
population and the condition of prairie ponds in Canada. A three-tiered pack- 
age of open seasons includes liberal (60 days), moderate (45 days) and restric- 
tive (30 days) options. For more information, go to: 

Status of Habitat on the Breeding Grounds 

After a dry year on the breeding grounds in 2008, abundant precipitation 
refilled wetland basins. In spring 2009, the number of wetlands with water 
increased 45 percent from 2008. Much of this improvement occurred in 
the north-central United States, especially the Dakotas, where the number 
of wetland basins with water increased 108 percent from 2008 to levels 87 
percent above the long-term average. In contrast, the number of wetland 
basins with water in prairie Canada increased only 17 percent to levels 
similar to the long-term average. Improved breeding ground conditions set 
the stage for good duck production in 2009. 

Duck Status 

We expected the dry conditions of 2008 to result in poor production and 
potentially lower numbers of ducks going into 2009. Fortunately, this was 
not the case. The total breeding duck population increased by 13 percent 
from 37.3 million in 2008 to 42 million in 2009 and is now 25 percent 
above the long-term average. The mallard population increased by 10 per- 
cent from last spring and is now 13 percent above the long-term average. 
Blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, northern shovelers, gadwall and red- 
heads appear to be doing the best with shovelers 92 percent, green-winged 
teal 79 percent, gadwall 73 percent, blue-winged teal 60 percent, and 
redheads 62 percent above their long-term averages. Although northern 
pintails increased by 23 percent from last year, their population is still 20 
percent below the long-term average. Scaup status is also a concern. Their 
population remains 18 percent below the long-term average. 


Goose Status 

Canada goose harvest in Missouri primarily consists of giant Canada geese 
that nest in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Manitoba and the Eastern Prai- 
rie Population (EPP) Canada geese that nest along the west coast of Hud- 
son Bay in northern Manitoba. 

After several years of rapid expansion, giant Canada goose populations 
in Missouri and the Mississippi Flyway have stabilized. The 2009 Missis- 
sippi Flyway estimate of 1.9 million giant Canada geese is similar to the 
estimate of 1.7 million in 2008. In Missouri, the 2009 estimate of 52,400 
was similar to the previous eight years. 

The Eastern Prairie Population of Canada geese faced one of the lat- 
est nesting seasons in the last 40 years. Snow and ice covered the nesting 
grounds until late June. While the estimate of 161,100 geese represented 
by singles and pairs was similar to last year's estimate of 153,400, spring 
arrived too late for most of these geese to successfully produce young. 
With fewer young in the fall flight, hunting Eastern Prairie Population 
Canada geese might be more difficult. 

The fall flight of white -fronted geese and light geese [snow, blue and 
Ross's geese) is expected to be similar to the last few years. After the light 
goose population peaked at 3 million in 1998, it appears to have stabilized 
at approximately 2 million. The fall 2008 white-fronted goose population 
estimate of 751,700 is similar to 2007. 

Liberal Canada Goose Season 
Put to the Test 

The last time the Eastern Prairie Canada goose population experienced a 
bust in production was 2004. That year, goose hunters were restricted to 
a 1-goose daily bag limit and had only 40 days to hunt Canada geese in 
December and January, the period when migrant Canada geese normally 
arrive in Missouri. 

This year, however, under the current federal framework, no changes 
are warranted. Hunters will have 62 days of Canada goose hunting in 
December and January along with a 2-bird bag limit during the regular 
Canada goose season. The early Canada goose season, which has a 3-bird 
bag limit and runs from September 26 to October 7, targets giant Canada 

The more liberal Canada goose harvest began in 2006 when state and 
federal agencies responsible for Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese 
made the change to help Minnesota and Manitoba better manage their 
high numbers of giant Canada geese. However, if geese numbers in the 
Eastern Prairie Population decline too dramatically over the next few 
years, Missouri and other states may return to more restrictive regulations. 

New Bag Limits in 2009-2010 

The canvasback season is open for the full 60-day season with a 
1-bird daily bag limit. Compared to most duck species, the canvasback 
population is small with an average size of approximately 500,000. As 
a result, regulations tend to err on the conservative side. However, the 
spring 2009 population estimate of 662,000 was large enough to reopen the 
season for a full 60 days with a 1-bird daily bag limit. 

Scaup daily bag limit is increased from 1 to 2. Although relatively 
stable the last few years, the scaup population has declined 18 percent 
from the long-term average. While this decline is not attributed to harvest, 
the current population can no longer sustain the harvest rates it once did 
according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, modest increases 
in this year's spring estimate of 4.2 million are large enough to support a 
2-bird bag limit. 

Rationale for Duck Season Timing 

Based on hunters' desires for later seasons, Missouri moved the opening 
date back about a week in each zone beginning in 2004. Since then the 
duck season has opened on the last Saturday in October in the North Zone, 
the first Saturday in November in the Middle Zone, and on Thanksgiving 
Day or the Friday after in the South Zone. This season structure provides a 
potential range of opening dates from Oct. 25 through Oct. 31 in the North 
Zone; from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 in the Middle Zone; and in the South 
Zone, Thanksgiving falls from Nov. 22 through Nov. 28. Maintaining open- 
ing dates associated with specific weeks of the month allows the timing of 
duck season to vary by seven days within a six-year period and accommo- 
dates those with earlier or later preferences over this time period. Accord- 
ing to this framework the season was as early as possible in 2008 and will 
be as late as possible in 2009 in the North and Middle zones. 

Ducks and Coots 

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset 

Season Dates: See table on back cover 


Coots 15 daily and 30 in possession 

Ducks: The daily bag limit of ducks is 6 and may include no more than: 

Mallards 4, but no more than 2 females 

Wood ducks 3 

Hooded mergansers 2 

Redheads 2 

Scaup (new limit) 2 

Black duck 1 

Canvasback (new limit) 1 

Mottled ducks (new limit) 1 

Pintail 1 

The possession limit of ducks is 12 (twice the daily bag limit; varies by spe- 


Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset 

Season Dates: See table on the back cover 


The daily bag limits of geese are: 

Snow, blue and Ross's (all species combined) 20 

White-fronted 2 

Brant 1 


Sept. 26-Oct. 7 3 

Nov. 26-Jan. 31 2 

The possession limits of geese are twice the daily bag limits, except there 
is no possession limit for snow, blue and Ross's geese. 


Bands recovered and reported by hunters provide important 
information about survival, migration, harvest rates and distributions 
for a wide variety of migratory game birds. 

To report band numbers from all types of birds (except pigeons), 
go online at or call 1-800-327-BAND (2263). 
You will receive a certificate of appreciation and information about 
the bird. The band is yours to keep. 

All swans are protected by federal and state law 
and may not be shot. 

Identify waterfowl before you shoot! 

Trumpeter swans are twice the size of Canada geese and four times the 
size of snow geese. White wingtips 

White wings and body 
4 feet in length 
7-foot wingspan 
20-30 pounds 

Long white neck 

Note: Young swans are gray. 

- ) 

Canada geese are half the size of swans. 

Long black nea 

2 feet in length 
5-foot wingspan 
10-12 pounds 

Black head with white 
chin strap 

Grayish or brownish body 

Gray wings 

Snow geese are 1/4 the size of swans. 

Black tips on white wings 

1.5 feet in length 
3.5-foot wingspan 
5-6 pounds 


Note: Young snow geese are gray. 

Short white neck 

Report violations to Operation Game Thief 

Illustrations from "Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide." 
Used with permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days 

In 2009, there are two youth-only waterfowl hunting days in each zone for 
ducks, geese and coots. Youth hunters must be: 

► age 15 or younger 

► accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older who is not allowed to 
hunt ducks but who can participate in other open seasons. 

No permits are required for youth hunters. If the youth possesses a valid 
hunter education certificate card, the accompanying adult does not need 
a permit or hunter-ed certification. However, if the youth is not hunter-ed 
certified, the accompanying adult must be hunter-ed certified unless they 
were born before Jan. 1, 1967, and possess a Missouri permit to hunt small 
game or be exempt. 

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset 
Season Dates: North Zone: Oct. 24-25 

Middle Zone: Oct. 31 -Nov. I 

South Zone: Nov. 21-22 
Limits: The daily bag limit for ducks is the same as during the regular 
waterfowl season. The daily bag limit for geese is 1 brant, 2 Canada geese, 
2 white-fronted geese and 20 light geese. Possession limits are twice the 
daily bag limit (varies by species), except there is no possession limit for 
light geese. 

Falconry Season for Ducks and Coots 

Season Dates and Hunting Hours: 

► Sept. 12-27 statewide with hunting hours from sunrise to sunset 

► during youth and regular duck seasons (see back cover for zones and 
dates) with hunting hours 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset 

► Feb. 10-March 10 statewide with hunting hours 1/2 hour before sunrise 
to sunset 

Limits: The daily bag limit and possession limit shall not exceed 3 and 6 
birds, respectively, singly, or in the aggregate during the regular duck sea- 
sons (including teal and youth seasons) and extended falconry seasons. 


For hunting reports that are updated twice a week, results of waterfowl counts 
conducted every other week and a wealth of other information about water- 
fowl hunting in IVlissouri, go to: 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in collaboration with flyway and state 
waterfowl managers offers a website containing information about waterfowl 
status, monitoring, harvest and regulations. Go to 

Light Goose Conservation Order: Feb. 1 -April 30 

A light goose Conservation Order will be in effect for the 12th consecutive 
year during spring 2010. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented 
this Conservation Order to reduce numbers of snow (including their blue 
color phase) and Ross's geese because they have rapidly increased in 
number and are causing damage to portions of the fragile arctic tundra. 
The Conservation Order will be in effect from Feb. 1 -April 30 with no 
bag limit. Hunters may use electronic calls and unplugged shotguns and 
shoot from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. See permit 
requirement on page 19. 

Managed Waterfowl Hunting in Missouri 

The Conservation Department provides managed waterfowl hunting on 
15 conservation areas, which are listed on the following pages. These 
intensively managed areas provide waterfowl with much needed resources 
during spring and fall migrations. The Department limits the number of 
parties on these areas to give hunters an opportunity for a quality hunt. 
Resident hunters can hunt these areas by applying for a reservation each 
year beginning in early September. Note: Residents and nonresidents who 
do not have a reservation may attend a morning drawing or hunt with 
residents who have a reservation. 

Some of the managed waterfowl areas have permanent blinds, and 
others provide opportunity for hunters to wade in or hunt from layout 
boats or boat blinds. Most have disabled-accessible blinds. Additional 
information about Missouri's managed waterfowl hunting can be found 

Draw System Favors Larger Parties 

Seven managed wetland areas employ the "every member draws" (EMD) 
procedure to allocate unreserved hunting opportunity. 

EMD allows each member of a hunting party (maximum party size of 
four) to draw a numbered pill and then use the lowest number to deter- 
mine the group's place in line for selecting a hunt location. The system 
provides larger parties a greater chance of drawing a more favorable 
position, and resulted in an additional 3,400 hunter trips— a 30 percent 
increase from previous years— without impacting individual or party duck 
harvest, daily hunter satisfaction or hunt safety. The EMD procedure does 
not change the way reservation holders draw for positions. 

Conservation areas using EMD are Bob Brown, Columbia Bottom, Eagle 
Bluffs, Grand Pass, Marais Temps Clair, Otter Slough and Tbn Mile Pond. 
The remaining managed wetland areas turn fewer people away and, there- 
fore, would not benefit from EMD. 


Managed Waterfowl Hunting Areas 

If you do not have a reservation for the following conservation areas, you 
must participate in the daily drawing or hunt with residents who have 
a reservation. For details, call the phone numbers noted after the area 
names or go to 

~( North Zone). 

Bales ^P^ 






Middle Zonelv 

South Zone 


Waterfowl hunting may be available at otiier areas. Search the 
conservation atlas online at 
atlas. Area maps are available online and at Department offices. 

^ At these areas, every member in the party draws for a hunting spot. See page 9. 

Zone Boundaries 

North Zone: That portion of Missouri north of a line running west from the Illinois bor- 
der at Lock and Dam 25; west on Lincoln County Hwy. N to Mo. Hwy. 79; south on Mo. 
Hwy. 79 to Mo. Hwy. 47; west on Mo. Hwy. 47 to 1-70; west on 1-70 to the Kansas border. 

Middle Zone: The remainder of Missouri not included in other zones. 

South Zone: That portion of Missouri south of a line running west from the Illinois 
border on Mo. Hwy. 34 to 1-55; south on 1-55 to U.S. Hwy. 62; west on U.S. Hwy. 62 to 
Mo. Hwy. 53; north on Mo. Hwy. 53 to Mo. Hwy. 51; north on Mo. Hwy. 51 to U.S. Hwy. 
60; west on U.S. Hwy. 60 to Mo. Hwy. 21; north on Mo. Hwy. 21 to Mo. Hwy. 72; west 
on Mo. Hwy. 72 to Mo. Hwy. 32; west on Mo. Hwy. 32 to U.S. Hwy. 65; north on U.S. 
Hwy. 65 to U.S. Hwy. 54; west on U.S. Hwy. 54 to the Kansas border. 


11 B. K. Leach CA (4,307 acres; Lincoln 
County) 573-898-5905. Walk-in hunt- 
ing; water blinds; 1 ADA blind (636- 
441-4554); boats provided where 
needed; 1 p.m. closure. Drawing 
held at River Slough Tract. 

12 Bob Brown CA A (3,302 acres; Holt 
County) 660-646-6122. Walk-in hunt- 
ing; temporary blinds only; 1 ADA 
blind (816-271-3100); boat ramp; 
camping; permits and stamps; 1 p.m. 

13 Columbia Bottom CAA (4,31 8 
acres; St. Louis County) 314-877- 
6014. Walk-in hunting; temporary 
blinds only; 1 ADA blind; boat ramps 
at most pools; permits and stamps; 1 
p.m. closure. 

1 4 Duck Creek CA (7,482 acres; Bol- 
linger, Stoddard, Wayne counties) 
573-222-3337. Walk-in hunting; 
goose pits; field hunting for geese; 
water blinds; 1 ADA blind; boats pro- 
vided for some blinds; boat ramp; 
camping; permits and stamps; 1 p.m. 
closure in designated areas. Note: 
Renovations may restrict flooded 
timber hunting; Pool 8, part of 
IVlingo National Wildlife Refuge, usu- 
ally gets water late in the season. 

15 Eagle Bluffs CA A (4,440 acres; 
Boone County) 573-445-3882. Walk- 
in hunting; temporary blinds only; 2 
ADA blinds; permits and stamps; 1 
p.m. closure in designated areas. 

1 6 Fountain Grove CA (7,1 54 acres; Linn 
and Livingston counties) 660-646- 

61 22. Walk-in hunting; water blinds; 1 
ADA blind; boats provided for blinds 
only; boat ramps; camping; permits 
and stamps; 1 p.m. closure in desig- 
nated areas. Note: Hunting in pools H 
and J will be dependent upon prog- 
ress of wetland renovation. 

17 Four Rivers CA (13,929 acres; Ver- 
non and Bates counties) 417-395- 
2341 . Units 1 and 2 have 8 shooting 
pools. Walk-in hunting; field hunting 
for geese; temporary blinds only; 1 

ADA blind; boat ramps; camping; 
permits and stamps; open all day. 

18 Grand Pass CA A (5,096 acres; 
Saline County) 660-646-61 22. Walk- 
in hunting; temporary blinds only; 

1 ADA blind; boat ramps at most 
pools; camping; permits and stamps; 
1 p.m. closure. 

19 MaraisTempsClairCA A(918 
acres; St. Charles County) 314-877- 
6014. Open to waterfowl hunting 
Friday-IVlonday only. Walk-in hunt- 
ing; 1 ADA blind; 1 p.m. closure. 

21 Montrose CA (3,979 acres; Henry 
County) 660-693-4666. Water blinds; 

1 ADA blind; boat ramp; camping; 
permits and stamps; open all day. 

22 Nodaway Valley CA (3,833 acres; 
Holt and Andrew counties) 660- 
646-61 22. Walk-in hunting; water 
blinds; 1 ADA blind (816-271-3100); 
temporary blinds only; boat ramp; 
camping; permits and stamps; 1 p.m. 
closure in designated areas. 

23 Otter Slough CA A (4,866 acres; 
Stoddard County) 573-624-5821. 
Walk-in hunting; field hunting for 
geese; water blinds; temporary blinds 
only; 1 ADA blind; boats provided for 
blinds only; boat ramps; camping; 
permits and stamps; 1 p.m. closure. 

24 Schell-Osage CA (8,633 acres; Ver- 
non and St. Clair counties) 41 7-432- 
3414. Walk-in hunting; water blinds; 

2 ADA blinds; boat ramp; camping; 
permits and stamps; 1 p.m. closure 
in designated areas. 

26 Ted Shanks CA (6,705 acres; Pike 
County) 573-248-2530. Walk-in hunt- 
ing; water blinds; 1 ADA blind; boats 
provided; boat ramp; camping; per- 
mits and stamps; 1 p.m. closure in 
designated areas. 

27 Ten Mile Pond CA A (3,755 acres; 
Mississippi County) 573-649-2770. 
Walk-in hunting; field hunting for 
geese; temporary blinds only; boat 
ramp; permits and stamps; open all 

Duck Identification Tips 

Species restrictions in the daily bag require hunters to identify their target 
before shooting. Hunters should have in mind what species are expected to 
be present during the particular time of year, time of day and in the habi- 
tat they are hunting. Once ducks are spotted, the 
flight characteristics of the flock will help. Small, 
compact, fast-flying flocks are more likely to be 
teal or shovelers, as compared to mallards, pintails 
or wigeon that are more likely to be seen in loose 
flocks. Divers tend to have a faster wing beat than 
dabblers, and canvasbacks tend to shift from wavy 
lines to Vs. 

Color and individual silhouettes become more important when ducks 
are closer. Pintails are long and sleek with pointed wings, tails, and nar- 
row necks. The prominent sloped bill of the canvasback is readily visible 
within gun range. Look for a white band on the wings to identify scaup. 

For additional help in identifying ducks, purchase the Conservation 
Department's 16-minute video, "The Key to Duck ID," by calling toll-free 
877-521-8632 or online at You can also find 
tips at: 

If unsure of the 
species, the 
safest bet is to 
not shoot! 


These slender, graceful and fast fliers often zig-zag from great heights before level- 
ing off to land. They may be seen in flocks with mallards. Drakes whistle. Hens have a 
course quack. 


length: 18.5 inches 
wingspan:35 inches 

central tail feathers 
extend beyond 
wedge-shaped tail 

dark speculum 
with white border 

long, slender 
white neck 

long, pointed wings 


Black Duck 

These shy and wary ducks are swift flyers, usually moving In small flocks. They may be 
seen with mallards. Black ducks sound similar to mallards. 

drake and hen 
are similar 

length: 24 inches 

f' dark body plumage 

' i; / contrasts with white 
1/ ^ 


Except for the wing marks, greater and lesser scaup appear nearly identical in the 
field. The light band near the trailing edges of the wings runs almost to the wing tip in 
the greater scaup, but only about halfway in the lesser. Scaup also look similar to ring- 
necked ducks. Flock movements are rapid, often erratic, usually in compact groups. 
Hens are silent. Lesser scaup drakes purr. Greater scaup drakes have a discordant 
scaup, scaup. 

Lesser scaup length: 1 7 inches 


white band 

From "Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide." 
Used with permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 



The swiftest of all ducks, the canvasback has a rapid and noisy wingbeat. In the air, 
they look large and light colored compared to other divers. Drakes croak, peep and 
growl. Hens have a mallard-like quack. 


length: 15 inches 

wingspan: 34 inches .) i j bj|| 

forehead slopes 
to long, black 






When flying, redheads give the impression of being in a hurry. In the air, they look 
similar to scaup and ring-necked drakes. They move in irregular formations over 
feeding areas, and often are found with canvasbacks. Drakes make a purr and meow 
sound; hens have a loud squak. 


length: 20 inches 

red head 

gray back and 
black lower neck 

short pale 
bluish bill 


Hooded Merganser 

The short rapid wing strol<es of the hooded merganser give the impression of great 
speed. IVlergansers are often seen in pairs or very small flocks. It is unusual to hear 
them call in the fall. 





length: 18 inches 

thin white strip 
on drake 

white on trailing 
edge of wing 

pointed bill 

Wood Duck 

The flight of wood ducks is swift and direct. While flying, their wings make a rustling, 
swishing sound. Drakes call hoo-w-ett, often in flight; hens have a cr-r-e/c when fright- 

length: 18.5 inches 

From "Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide." 
Used with permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 


Goose Identification Tips 

Because of the different bag limits, hunters must be able to identify the 
different goose species during flight. Watch for differences in coloration 
and voice. Be sure of the species before you shoot. 

For additional help in identifying geese, go to 

Canada Geese 

Canada geese are often called "honkers" because of their distinctive /lon/c. All races 
have similar habits and voices. 

bill and neck 

grayish or 
brownish body 



vary in weight from 3 to more than 
1 2 pounds, depending on race 

Brants fly swiftly and in irregular and ever-changing flocks. These birds are rarely seen 
in IVlissouri. 

dark wings 

^ blackhead 
^ and neck 

white patch 
on neck 

length: 24-25 inches 
weight: 3.25-3.75 pounds 

black bill, legs and feet 


Snow Geese 

Snow geese have two color phases: white and blue. Immatures appear gray and can 
be confused with immature white-fronted geese. Their call is a high-pitched, honk. 

black at end of wings ■ 
Snow goose 

in white phase 

blue-gray in 
bend of wing 


Bill forms "grin-patch" ^< 
where upper and ' 
lower portions meet. 

brown back 

Snow goose 
in blue phase 

length: 29-31 inches 
weight: 6.5-7.5 pounds 

Note: While identical to snow geese in coloration 
Ross's geese have a shorter bill and no "grin patch." 

' 1 

white head ■ 

■ 01 

and neck V 

■ \ ^ 


^P breast 


|P color varie 

from dark 


gray to 

White-fronted Geese 

White-fronted geese fly in V-shaped flocks. Their call is a laugh-like series of high- 
pitched paired notes. 

length: 29 inches 
weight 6.25 pounds 

base of bill 
is white 

upperparts are brown 

white underparts 
with dark patches 
on adults 

From "Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide." 
Used with permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 


Permit and Stamp Requirements 

To pursue, take, possess and transport ducks, coots and geese in Missouri, 
except during the Conservation Order, all hunters age 16 and older, unless 
exempt, must have in their possession three permits as listed below. 

Persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, must have completed an approved 
hunter education program in Missouri or elsewhere and display a Hunter 
Education Certificate Card before buying any firearms hunting permit, 
unless the hunter has first purchased an Apprentice Hunter Authorization. 
A hunter-ed card need not be displayed if certification can be verified at 
the vendor's computer terminal. 

1. Missouri residents age 16 through 64, unless exempt, and nonresidents 
age 1 6 and older, must have one of the following small game hunting 

► Missouri Resident Small Game Hunting Permit $10 

► Missouri Resident Hunting & Fishing Permit $19 

► Missouri Daily Small Game Hunting Permit (per day) $11 

► Missouri Nonresident Small Game Hunting Permit $80 

► Missouri Resident National Guard and Reserve Service Small Game 
Hunting and Fishing Permit (special requirements apply) $5 

► Missouri Resident Lifetime Small Game Hunting Permit varies by age 

► Missouri Resident Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit varies by age 

Exemption: Missouri resident landowners on their own land do not need 
any of the above. 

2. In addition to one of the above, residents and nonresidents age 16 and 
older must have a: 

► Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit $6 

Note: Purchase of this permit satisfies requirements for Migratory Game 
Bird Harvest Registration. 

3. In addition to the permits listed above, all hunters age 16 and older 
must have a: 

► Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp $15 

Note: This federal "duck" stamp must be signed in ink across the face. 

Permit requirements for hunters aged 15 and under 

► Resident and nonresident hunters age 15 and under are not required to 
purchase any permits to hunt ducks, coots or geese in Missouri. How- 
ever, they must have in their possession a valid Hunter Education Cer- 
tificate Card while hunting or be in the immediate presence of an adult 
age 18 or older who possesses a Missouri small game hunting permit 
and is hunter education certified or born before Jan. 1, 1967. 


New Permit Requirement for Conservation Order 

During the Conservation Order, Feb. 1 -April 30, residents and nonresi- 
dents age 16 and older only need a Conservation Order Permit. This per- 
mit costs $5 for residents and $40 for nonresidents. Hunters with either 
a Resident Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit or a Resident Lifetime 
Small Game Hunting Permit do not need to purchase a Conservation Order 
Permit to hunt light geese during the Conservation Order 

Hunters 15 years old and younger do not need a Conservation Order 
Permit, but must possess a valid hunter education certificate card or hunt 
in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult 18 years old or 
older who is hunter education certified or was born before January 1, 

Note: A Missouri small game hunting permit, Missouri Migratory Bird 
Hunting Permit and federal duck stamp are not required during the Con- 
servation Order 

Mentoring Option for Apprentice Hunters 

Would you like to share those beautiful fall and winter days waterfowl 
hunting with a good friend or a spouse who has never hunted before? You 
know they would love it, but you can't get them to invest the time to take 
the hunter-education course. 

To help introduce adults to hunting, the Conservation Department now 
allows hunters age 16 and older who are not hunter-ed certified to hunt 
with firearms, as long as they: 

► first purchase the new Apprentice Hunter Authorization for $10 

► then purchase the required permits and stamps for the season they 
want to hunt (see next page) 

► hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed hunter 18 
years old or older who is hunter-ed certified or was born before Jan. 
1, 1967. 

Note: The Apprentice Hunter Authorization allows the holder to pur- 
chase firearms permits throughout the permit year, and it can be pur- 
chased for two permit years. After the second year, the apprentice hunter 
will be required to become hunter-ed certified if he or she wants to con- 
tinue hunting. 

Missouri is a leader in hunter recruitment, and the Apprentice Hunter 
Authorization is just one more tool to help you share your hunting knowl- 
edge and tradition with your friends and family. If your apprentice hunter 
wants to continue waterfowl hunting after two seasons, it's never been eas- 
ier to get hunter-ed certified with a new online course, available at www. 

As a mentor, you may also want to visit the online hunter-ed website as 
a review before you take your apprentice hunting. A fee of $15 is charged 
if and when the online test is processed. 


Where to Purchase Permits 

Purchase a Missouri small game hunting permit 
and the Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit: 

► over the counter from any permit vendor 

► by telephone anytime at (800) 392-41 1 5* 

► online anytime at* 

*Credit card and $2 per person 
surciiarge required. 

Purchase the federal Migratory Bird l-lunting and Conservation Stamp (duck 
stamp) at U.S. Post Offices and selected permit vendors. 

s SBasamsasm 
^ saasmaaas 


Help stop zebra mussels 

Zebra mussels have been found in LakeTaneycomo, 
Bull Shoals Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, the Mississippi 
and Missouri rivers, and in the Meramec River near St. 
Louis. Although less than 2 inches long, these exotics: 

■ CLOG the cooling systems of boat motors causing them to 

■ PLUG Intake pipes, cutting off water supplies to cities and power plants 

■ RUIN beaches with their sharp shells and rotting carcasses 

■ SPREAD quickly — a single female can produce 1 million eggs a year 
To help stop this invasive mussel: Inspect, Drain, Rinse, Dry! 

■ INSPECT your boat for mussels after each use, remove and trash mussels 
and water weeds before leaving any body of water. 

■ DRAIN all water from and disinfect your boat, bait buckets and equipment 
before leaving any body of water. 

■ RINSE in hot water your boat's hull, drive unit, livewell and pump, bilge, 
trailer, bait bucket, engine cooling system and all other parts and accessories 
that get wet. 

■ DRY your boat, motor and trailer thoroughly for 5 days before boating again. 

Report siglitings to Mussel Biologist, niOS. College Ave., Columbia, MO 65201, or 
call 573/882-9880. Save several mussel shells for identification by placing them in 
rubbing alcohol or by freezing them. 


Federal Regulations Summary 

In addition to state regulations, the following federal rules apply to the 
taking, possession, transportation, shipment and storage of waterfowl and 
other migratory birds. Note: This is only a summary; refer to Title 50, Part 
20 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 

RESTRICTIONS: No person shall take waterfowl: 

■ With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 
10-gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fishhook, poison, drug, 
explosive or stupefying substance. 

■ With a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is 
plugged with a one-piece filler that is incapable of removal without disas- 
sembling the gun except during the light goose Conservation Order 

■ From a sink box, a low-floating device, having a depression affording the 
hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water. 

■ From or with the aid or use of a car or other motor-driven land convey- 
ance, or any aircraft, except that paraplegics and single or double ampu- 
tees of the legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary 
motor-driven land conveyance. Paraplegic means an individual afflicted 
with paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both 
legs, usually due to disease of or injury to the spinal cord. 

■ From or by means of any motorboat or sailboat unless the motor has 
been completely shut off and/or the sail furled, and its progress there- 
from has ceased. 

■ By the use or aid of live decoys. All live, tame or captive ducks and geese 
shall be removed for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to hunting, 
and confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audi- 
bility of their calls and totally conceals such tame birds from the sight of 
migratory waterfowl. 

■ Using records or tapes of migratory bird calls or sounds, or electrically 
amplified imitations of bird calls except during the light goose Conserva- 
tion Order 

■ By driving, rallying, or chasing birds with any motorized conveyance or 
any sailboat to put them in the range of the hunters. 

■ By the aid of baiting (placing feed such as corn, wheat, salt or other 
feed to constitute a lure or enticement), or on or over any baited area. 
Hunters should be aware that a baited area is considered to be baited 
for 10 days after the removal of the bait, and it is not necessary for the 
hunter to know an area is or was baited to be in violation. Agricultural 
areas must be prepared in accordance with official recommendations to 
be legally hunted. It is a separate offense to place bait on or adjacent to 
an area that causes, induces or allows another to hunt by the aid of bait 
or over a baited area. 


■ while possessing shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot for muzzle- 
loading) other than steel shot or such shot approved as nontoxic by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. See next page. 

CLOSED SEASON: No person shall take migratory game birds during the 
closed season. 

SHOOTING OR HAWKING HOURS: No person shall take migratory game 
birds except during the hours open to shooting and hawking as prescribed. 

DAILY BAG LIMIT: No person shall take in any one day more than one 
daily bag limit. 

FIELD POSSESSION LIMIT: No person shall possess more than one daily 
bag limit while in the field or while returning from the field to one's car, 
hunting camp, motel, etc. 

WANTON WASTE: All migratory game birds killed or crippled shall be 
retrieved, if possible, and retained in the custody of the hunter in the field. 

TAGGING: No person shall give, put or leave any migratory game birds at 
any place or in the custody of another person unless the birds are tagged 
by the hunter with the following information: 

1 . The hunter's signature. 

2. The hunter's address. 

3. The total number of birds involved, by species. 

4. The dates such birds were killed. 

No person or business shall receive or have in custody any migratory game 
birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged. 

POSSESSION OF LIVE BIRDS: Wounded birds reduced to possession shaU 
be immediately killed and included in the daily bag limit. 

DRESSING: No person shall completely field dress any migratory game 
bird (except doves) and then transport the birds from the field. The head 
or one full-feathered wing must remain attached to all such birds while 
being transported from the field to one's home or to a commercial preser- 
vation facility. 

SHIPMENT: No person shall ship migratory game birds unless the pack- 
age is marked on the outside with: (a) the name and address of the person 
sending the birds, (b) the name and address of the person to whom the 
birds are being sent, and (c) the number of birds, by species, contained in 
the package. 

IMPORTATION: For information regarding the importation of migratory 
birds killed in another country, hunters should consult federal regula- 
tions 50 CFR 20.61 through 20.66. One fully-feathered wing must remain 
attached to all migratory game birds being transported between a port of 
entry and one's home or to a migratory bird preservation facility. No per- 


son shall import migratory game birds killed in any foreign country, except 
Canada, unless such birds are dressed [except as required above), drawn, 
and the head and feet are removed. No person shall import migratory 
game birds belonging to another person. 

DUAL VIOLATION: Violation of state migratory bird regulations is also a 
violation of federal regulations. 

Shot Requirements 

shells possessed or used while hunting waterfowl or coots statewide, and 
other species as designated by posting on public areas, must be loaded 
with material approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

As of July 2009, shot types approved as being nontoxic are: 

bismuth-tin 97% bismuth, 3% tin 

iron (steel) 

iron and carbon 


any proportion of tungsten and >1% iron 


>1% iron, any proportion of tungsten, up to 40% nickel 


51.1% tungsten, 44.4% copper, 3.9% tin, 0.6% iron 
or 60% tungsten, 35.1% copper, 3.9% tin, 1% iron 


40-76% tungsten, 10-37% iron, 9-16% copper, 5-7% nickel 


95.9% tungsten, 4.1% polymer 


95.5% tungsten, 4.5% nylon 6 or 1 1 


any proportions of tungsten and tin, >1% iron 


any proportions of tungsten, tin and bismuth 


65% tungsten, 21.8% tin, 10.4% iron, 2.8% nickel 


(^ Respect Other Hunters — Your enjoyment, and theirs, will result from 
mutual courtesy in the marsh. 

(^ Respect the Rules — Know all state and federal regulations. 

(^ Respect Biology — We share responsibility for migratory birds and wetland 
habitat throughout North America. 

(^ Respect the Waterfowl Hunting Tradition — Setting up too close or down- 
wind of other hunters is neither safe nor ethical. 

(^ Respect the Resource — Use nontoxic shot. Be sure that birds are in range. 
Identify your target before shooting. 


Be a better 
hunter: Know 
your effective 
target range 
before the 
season begins! 

Tips for Shooting Nontoxic Shot 

of the many approved types of nontoxic shot, each 
has its own characteristics and benefits. Some, such 
as steel, are harder, pattern tighter and have more 
pellets in each load than lead shot. Others are more 
expensive, but have characteristics similar to lead. 
Regardless of what you choose, learn how it works 
with your shotgun before heading out to hunt. 

Many hunters underestimate distances and shoot birds out of range. 
Find your effective range with nontoxic shot by practicing shooting at a 
target 20 yards away. Once you have that down, increase the distance to 
your target in small increments. This will help you learn to judge distances 
and how far you can effectively shoot before you go hunting. 

Tb help hunters become more efficient and ethical harvesters of 
waterfowl and other game using nontoxic ammunition, the Conservation 
Department offers "Effective Wingshooting, the CONSEP Way." These 
classes were developed based on peer-reviewed scientific research by the 
Cooperative North American Shotgunning Education Program (CONSEP). 
Certified instructors will teach participants how to choose the correct 
choke, load and shot size for different game, how to estimate shooting 
distances, and how to effectively lead their target. For information, go to 
www. mdc. mo . gov/hunt/ gamebird/ wingshooting.htm. 

Suggested Shot Size Selection for Waterfowl 



Typical hunting 

Minimum desired 
pattern density 
(hits/30" circle) 




6 steel* 

6 bismuth 

6 tungsten alloy 

3-4 steel 
4—6 bismuth 
4—6 tungsten alloy 



4 steel 

6 bismuth 

6 tungsten alloy 

2—3 steel 
4 bismuth 
4—6 tungsten alloy 



2 steel 

2 bismuth 

4 tungsten alloy 

1-BB steel 

2 bismuth 

2 tungsten alloy 



2 steel 

2 bismuth 

4 tungsten alloy 

BB-BBB steel 
1-BB bismuth 
2— BB tungsten alloy 


Close range is less than 35 yards; all shots should be lunited to less than 45 
yards. Velocity on all loads should be a minimum of 1,225 FPS. 
*Note: S^nall shot (#6) is an excellent choice for finishing wounded waterfowl at 
close range. 


Avian Influenza Precautions 

As part of a national plan, the Conservation Department is helping moni- 
tor migratory birds for H5N1 avian influenza. This effort will include sam- 
pling hunter-harvested ducks and geese in Missouri. Waterfowl are suscep- 
tible to a number of diseases, and Department personnel regularly submit 
samples to the National Wildlife Health Center for diagnosis. It should be 
noted that the observation of dead wild birds does not necessarily indicate 
the arrival of the virus; bird deaths can be caused by a variety of diseases, 
events or environmental factors. State and federal agencies are taking steps 
to minimize the potential impact of the occurrence of H5N1 avian influ- 
enza should it occur within the United States. 

For more information about avian influenza, go to: 

Proper Handling of Game Birds 

Practice good hygiene when handling or cleaning wild birds. Here are 
some specific practices recommended by the National Wildlife Health Cen- 

1 . Do not handle or eat birds that are obviously sick or birds found dead. 
Contact the Conservation Department or another natural resource 
agency if you find sick or dead birds. 

2. Keep your game birds cool, clean and dry. 

3. Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning or handling birds. 

4. Wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning 
game. Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water (or with an alcohol- 
based hand product if your hands are not visibly soiled) afterwards. 

5. Clean all tools and surfaces immediately after cleaning birds; use hot 
soapy water, then disinfect with a 10 percent chlorine bleach solution. 

6. Cook game meat thoroughly (well done or 160 degrees F). 

Put a little nature on your plate 

Conservation Heritage license plates let you become 
a driving force for conservation in Missouri. For 
a $25 annual donation to the Missouri Conservation 
Heritage Foundation, you can order the plate of your choice any time, regardless 
of your current license plate expiration date. The foundation will direct your 
donation to a project that protects our natural heritage, such as wildlife habitat 
improvements on public and private land. 

You can pay the donation and pick up a Conservation Heritage License Plate 
Emblem Use Authorization Form at any permit vendor. For more details, call 
1 -800-227- 1 488 or go to 

Investing in your Conservation Legacy 


When hunting from a boat 

► Leave a detailed float plan with family or friends. 

► Check weather forecast. High wind can he dangerous. Cancel trip if 
water conditions aren't safe. 

► Don't overload the boat. 

► Load gear low in the boat and distribute the weight evenly. 

► Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times even if you can swim. 

► If wearing chest waders, use a belt to keep them from filling up with 

► Stow visual distress signals on board. 

► Carry a throwable flotation device in case someone falls overboard. 

► Transport firearms muzzle first with the action open, unloaded and cased. 

► At the first sign of a storm, head for shore. 

If your boat swamps or capsizes 

► Stay with the boat, and use distress signals. 

► Tb retain body heat, pull your knees to your chest and keep your 
elbows to your sides. 

► If in chest waders, trap air by bending your knees and raising your feet. 
Lie back in the water 

Other ways to stay afloat 

► Place an oar under the knees and another behind the back and shoulders. 

► If in hip boots, trap air in the boots by bending your knees. Lie on your 

► If decoys are in reach, stuff them inside your jacket. 

Harvest Survey Needs Your Response 

when you purchase your Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, the vendor asks 
you a series of questions about your migratory bird hunting activities for 
the previous year The answers you provide place you in a category with 
other migratory bird hunters by type and amount of hunting activity. This 
allows the Conservation Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser- 
vice, through the cooperative effort known as the Migratory Bird Harvest 
Information Program, to use harvest surveys to sample hunters from each 

This survey information is extremely important and is considered when 
establishing migratory bird hunting seasons each year. Your cooperation 
in supplying this information is vital. If you receive a survey, please com- 
plete and return it even if you did not hunt or were unsuccessful while 
afield. All the information you provide is important. By completing the 
survey, you are doing your part to help manage migratory birds. 



SEPT. 2009 

OCT. 2009 

NOV. 2009 






Rise Set 



Rise Set 





A.M. P.M. 









6:38 7:38 



6:36 5:08 






6:39 7:37 



6:37 5:07 






6:40 7:35 



6:38 5:06 






6:41 7:34 



6:39 5:05 






6:42 7:32 



6:40 5:04 






6:43 7:31 



6:41 5:03 






6:43 7:29 



6:42 5:02 






6:44 7:28 



6:43 5:01 






6:45 7:26 



6:44 5:00 






6:46 7:24 



6:45 4:59 






6:47 7:23 



6:47 4:59 






6:48 7:21 



6:48 4:58 






6:49 7:20 



6:49 4:57 






6:50 7:18 



6:50 4:56 






6:50 7:16 



6:51 4:55 






6:51 7:15 



6:52 4:55 






6:52 7:13 



6:53 4:54 






6:53 7:12 



6:54 4:53 






6:54 7:10 



6:55 4:53 






6:55 7:08 



6:56 4:52 






6:56 7:07 



6:57 4:52 






6:57 7:05 



6:59 4:51 






6:58 7:04 



7:00 4:51 






6:58 7:02 



7:01 4:50 






6:59 7:01 



7:02 4:50 






7:00 6:59 



7:03 4:49 






7:01 6:57 



7:04 4:49 






7:02 6:56 



7:05 4:49 






7:03 6:54 



7:06 4:48 






7:04 6:53 



7:07 4:48 












This table is for Jefferson City and points on the same longitude north and south. For loca- 
tions east, subtract one minute for each 13.5 miles of airline distance. For locations west, 
add one minute for each 13.5 miles. Sunrise and sunset from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 have been 
converted to daylight-saving time. To calculate the sunrise and sunset times anywhere in 
the United States, see the U.S. Naval Observatory web site: 

Missouri Department of Conservation 

P.O. Box 180 

Jefferson City, iVIO 65102-0180 


Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from programs of the IVIissouri Department of 
Conservation is available to all individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, 
sex, age or disability. Questions should be directed to the Department of Conservation, P.O. 
Box 1 80, Jefferson City, IVIO 65 1 02, (573) 75 1 -41 1 5 (voice) or 800-735-2966 (TTY), or to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Federal Assistance, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: MBSP- 
4020, Arlington, VA 22203. 


2009-2010 Waterfowl Seasons 





Geese and 



Light Geese 

(snow, blue, 



Oct. 24-25 

Oct. 31 -Dec. 29 

Sept. 26-Oct. 7 

Nov. 26-Jan. 31 

Nov. 26-Jan. 31 

Oct. 31 -Jan. 31 


31-Nov. 1 

Nov. 7- Jan. 5 


Nov. 21-22 

Nov. 26-Jan. 24 

*The Conservation Order for light geese will be in effect from Feb. 1 through April 30, 

2010, with no bag limit. Hunters may use electronic calls and unplugged shotguns, and 
shoot from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. New! A Conservation Order 
Permit is the only permit required, unless exempt. See page 9 for details. 

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset 

Daily Bag Limits 

(see page 6 possession 

Coot Bag Limit 

15 coots daily 
Duck Bag Limit 

6 ducks daily including: 

■ No more than 4 mallards 
(only 2 females) 

■ No more than 3 wood 

■ No more than 2 each: 
hooded mergansers 
scaup New! 

■ No more than 1 each: 
black duck 
canvasback New! 
mottled duck New! 

Goose Bag Limits 

3 Canada geese during the early season 

2 Canada geese during the regular season 

2 white-fronted geese 

20 light geese 

1 brant 

For permit information, 
seepages 18-20. 


9/2009 E00604